Originally published in the May 2014 issue of the Covenant Courier. I have a calling. You have a calling. We all have a calling. It’s such a funny little word “calling.” In the church, we think of it mainly as the idea that someone is supposed to pursue churchy kind of work as a paid … Continue reading Have We Been Wrong In How We Think About Calling?
My generation didn’t invent cynicism. We just own it as our posture toward the world. We became fluent in irony, exploring all its nuances. We re-made media into a layer cake of self-referential pop culture jokes. We diluted our rage into detached snarking from the sidelines. We invented the mumblecore film genre, fixating brooding introspective … Continue reading Are You Tired Of Being Cynical? Here’s 4 Ideas To Help You Be Different.
What could be better than a Christmas ghost story by Charles Dickens? How about a Christmas alien invasion story featuring Charles Dickens, in which the master of melodrama himself helps the Doctor thwart an extraterrestrial horde’s plan to conquer the Earth? Yes, it’s an absurd premise. Absurdity, after all, is part of the fun of … Continue reading Tardis Theology #3: In Which Charles Dickens Questions The Value Of His Life’s Work
“Sit on a mountain – chew on a reed. Wait on the Lord.” That was Ed Christman’s advice. I was a recent college graduate, still trying to sort out what I was going to do with my life. Ed was the Chaplain at Wake Forest University. He was a venerable figure, thin framed, stooped in … Continue reading Make The Big Picture Clear By Attending To The Little Picture
“You are a fraud.” Imagine opening your mailbox - the real one, not your email - and finding those words handwritten on a tidy notecard. What would you feel? How would you respond?Next question:How often do you mentally recite those words to yourself?A lot of us do. It’s a condition called the “Imposter Syndrome.” I … Continue reading Is There Relief From The Imposter Syndrome? (Meditation on Ephesians 1:14)
Hiroo Onoda, a weary Japanese intelligence officer, emerged from the Philippine jungle. He had fought the war for so very long. He had obeyed his superior officer’s orders: don’t surrender, don’t kill yourself, and spy on the Americans. He had done his duty faithfully, and he only surrendered when his commanding officer returned to find … Continue reading This Man Redeemed His Past. What Can You Do With Your Past?
You need to meet my friend Gary Sweeten. Gary is a counselor, leadership development expert, entrepreneur, and mental health guru. Every conversation with him turns into a cascade of big ideas and boisterous laughter. Gary is a Baby Boomer, and he’s counseled many of his peers through the adjustment to retirement. In one of our … Continue reading How To Think About Your Life Calling After Retirement (Or Any Major Transition).
You have something particular to give, something that no one else can offer. Sure, others can approximate it, but only you can give of the distinctive spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit has grown within you. Christians often look at I Corinthians 12 as a definitive “spiritual gifts list,” as though it were a diagnostic manual … Continue reading What is the Holy Spirit Up To? Giving Varieties Spiritual Gifts (I Cor 12)
Ours is an era of suspicion. Don’t take my word for it; read this Nov 30, 2013 article from the Associated Press about their poll of Americans, asking how much they trust their fellow citizens. The results tempt me to fear for the Republic. Now, nearly 2/3 of the American public says they really can’t … Continue reading What Is The Holy Spirit Up To? A Wealth Of Gifts For The Common Good
Providence is best viewed in the rear-view mirror. Case in point: Joseph. God had a clear calling for Joseph, but He revealed this calling through symbolic dreams, cryptic parables hinting that all of Joseph’s family would bow down before him. Joseph thought he had a bright promising future. And then his brothers betrayed him; Joseph … Continue reading God’s Call In Retrospect (Genesis 50:15-21)